Hi everyone, I've noticed that there don't seem to be a lot of recipes for either home cooked or raw food on the forum, so I thought that I would share 2 weeks worth of meal prep for my cavalier.
A couple of things to note first
- If you are just starting out raw I would recommend going down the pre-made route first to avoid mistakes. Many companies make raw food that is nutritionally complete
- Feed raw bones appropriate to your dog's size. Never feed cooked bones or weight bearing bones. Bones should only be fed under supervision. If your dog is a gulper, or if you aren't comfortable feeding whole bones, then feed ground bones instead
- Dogs typically require 2-3% of their body weight per day. Start off feeding 2.5% and adjust according to your dog's weight. Please remember that your dog's ribs should be easily felt and they should have a visible waist. Speak to your vet if you have any concern about your dog's weight
- I feed 2% of my dog's bodyweight as meat and then add vegetables to roughly 25% of that value. E.g. Bo is fed 180g of raw meat a day, but gets 40-50g of veg that I do not include in the total figure
- Before jumping in feet first, make sure that you gather plenty of information from a variety of sources about raw feeding.
- I have included pictures for illustration purposes. These include raw meat so if you don't want to see raw meat, please click away.
- I do not know everything and this is not the only way to feed raw
You will need:
- Appropriate sized raw meaty bones (or mince). I used raw meaty rabbit bones
- Chunks or minced meat from a variety of sources. I used duck heart, horse and as Bo is currently on an exclusion diet I bought some zebra and kangaroo as novel proteins
- Green tripe (this stuff stinks, so wear gloves and try to feed partially defrosted)
- A variety of vegetables and fruits- please check before feeding as some are toxic e.g. grapes, onions. I used spinach, kale, parsley, coriander, carrot, apple, sweet potato, bell pepper and blueberries
- Organs- at least 50% liver and the other 50% should be a variety. I used 50% lamb liver and 50% pig testicles, spleen and brain
- Supplements- make sure to use a fish oil supplement if not feeding fish for at least 2 meals per week. I used salmon oil, coconut oil, spirulina and dried seaweed
Finely dice, grate or blend the vegetables you have chosen. Starchy veg such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin should be cooked and mashed. Mix together the mashed sweet potato and chopped vegetables.
I used a pre-prepared organ mix. Remember that you need 5% liver and 5% other organs. Try to use a variety of organs, your local butcher should be able to help you out and perhaps even give you them for free!
Remember that stomach, lungs and heart are not counted as organ but as muscle meat instead.
Many dogs hate organs (mine included) so mincing, mixing with the vegetable mix and/or feeding frozen may be the only way to get them to eat them. Organs must
be included otherwise nutritional deficiencies can result.
Optional step: reward the diner for waiting so patiently!
Next, add bone to approximately 10% of the overall value of the meal. I tend to feed 15-20% bone as Bo tends to have a loose stomach otherwise. If you are using ground mince and bone you will need to find out the percentage of bone and add enough so that the bone becomes 10% of the meal- the raw meaty bones I use are approximately 50% meat and 50% bone
After this, calculate how much raw boneless meat you need to add. This will vary according to the percentage of meat and bone in your raw meaty bones or your mince. As my bones were roughly 50/50 and weigh 40g, I know that I have already added 20g of meat to each meal and therefore only need to add 135g of meat, 20g of which will be duck heart.
I do 4 meals of green tripe, 4 meals of zebra, 4 meals of kangaroo and 3 meals of horse. Try to get a variety and be sure to include 2 meals per week of fish. I have not added fish as Bo is on an exclusion diet and we have not yet re-introduced fish.
The final thing to do is add supplements. Fish oil is a necessity if not feeding fish a lot or at all. I add raw cold pressed coconut oil for skin and coat health, as well as spirulina and seaweed. I add 1 clove of garlic per 10kg body weight per week, as it is also beneficial, just be careful to not overdose as garlic is toxic in large amounts (much like everything else). Ensure that you do your own research before feeding supplements and consult a qualified nutritionist as supplements vary according to each dog and also what you feed.
Once finished, weigh out portions and freeze! Defrost as required. I hope this helps some of you, but if you have any comments or questions please leave them below!